This blog contains our lists, which I think are enlightening as much for their length and explanations as for the movies on them.
Spoiler warning: Contains mild spoilers.
Asking me about my favorite romantic movies is dangerous--I could talk your ear off. And this is as short a list as I could make it. Honestly.
The Princess Bride: As you wish--need I say anymore?
While You Were Sleeping: I honestly have no idea how many times I've watched While You Were Sleeping. Sandra Bullock ends up accidentally engaged to a man in a comma, then she falls in love with his family... and his brother. I simply adore the large wonky family. The dialog at their family dinner cracks me up every time.
When Harry Met Sally: One of the more perfect romantic comedies out there, this one has perfected the long-form on-screen romance. I believe these characters in a way I can't always do in other films. The screenplay makes me say, without hesitation, that Nora Ephron was a genius. And let's not forget that four-way split-screen phone call!
French Kiss: Probably my favorite Meg Ryan movie (and I like me some Meg Ryan rom-coms!), in French Kiss, she starts with the perfect, safe life: she's a mousy teacher, engaged to a safe guy with a safe job, about to buy a house and start a family using the money she's diligently squirreled away by... well, playing it safe. Then everything goes wrong starting with her fiance going to a conference in Paris only to have him fall in love with some French goddess. And so the heroine hurtles across the big blue ocean, intent on getting him back... until she loses her money, suitcase, and dignity, and is left with nothing but the dubious aid of a French thief played by Kevin Kline. The narrative then travels from Paris through wine country to the Cote d'Azure to a conclusion that is equal parts funny and touching.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding: Much like While You Were Sleeping, the cornerstone of My Big Fat Greek Wedding is the outrageous-but-lovable family. There's also the transformative "make-over" which is always fun to watch in film, but became something I loved on multiple levels because the heroine isn't made-over by some fairy godmother type character, she undertakes her own transformation, becomes her own hero, without the help of, and sometimes in spite of, those around her. And her groom is charming!
Love Actually: All the interwoven tales in Love Actually were what first struck me. Many large-cast romantic comedies have attempted to copy the formula, but none of them really succeed the way Love Actually does. What keeps me coming back to this one is partly the spunky, brutally truthful humor of it--the little boy and Emma Thompson's blunt assessments delivered to Liam Neeson are spot on--and that each storyline is a love story. Each ends with love even if it doesn't end with the expected "happy ending" we've come to expect; some end with the love of family, the love of friends, parental love. The Ancient Greeks had six different words for love, and Love Actually does a good job turning all of them into a single romantic movie.
Pride and Prejudice: For my money, the 1995 BBC version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle is THE DEFINITIVE Pride and Prejudice film, no other version need ever be made or watched! It's beyond perfect. And even though this six-part mini-series comes in at roughly five hours long, I've seen it more times than I can count.
10 Things I Hate About You: I wanted to be Kat. Actually, I did my best to become Kat, adopting as much of her take-no-prisoners, suffer-no-fools, be-your-own-person, have-no-fear, confident attitude as I possibly could. The fact that she ended up with the adorable teen-age Heath Ledger was a bonus! When this came out, I was actually in a production of Taming of the Shrew, and lo and behold, not only is this an adaptation of the Shakespeare play, but there are lines of dialog lifted directly out of Taming and plopped right into a late-90s high school setting... and it works! So much love.
Dirty Dancing (teenage-me was over the moon for Dirty Dancing and dancing bad boy Patrick Swayze, and I could not figure out for the life of me, why my summer vacations never ended up this awesome), Sleepless in Seattle, Laws of Attraction, The Ugly Truth, Someone Like You..., Where the Heart Is (I don't say this often, but the movie is as good as the book), Must Love Dogs (the book is better), The Proposal, You've Got Mail, Mrs. Winterborne, The Holiday, Two Weeks Notice, The Wedding Singer, Fifty First Dates, (I'm not a big fan of Drew Barrymore or Adam Sandler except when they're together, that's when I can't get enough of either of them), The Butcher's Wife, Her Little Thing, The Decoy Bride (this is one of those tiny little films you might not have heard of but is delightful nonetheless--or perhaps because of it--and bonus: David Tennant in a rom-com), Penelope, Hitch, Sense and Sensibility (Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman), Titanic, Casablanca, Walk the Line, Gone with the Wind.
1. The Princess Bride
2. The Wedding Singer
3. When Harry Met Sally
4. You've Got Mail
5. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
6. Sense and Sensibility
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
9. Last of the Mohicans
10. Pretty Woman
My list is actually fairly similar to both Eileen's and Laura's... but in no particular order.
I refused to watch this for the longest time because I thought the title was dumb. Ha! I actually watched it when I was 17 because a guy told me it was one of his favorites and I wanted to impress him. He's long since part of my past, but the movie still remains a classic that we watch regularly. I remember being in college and it came on and the common room of the dorm filled up like I've never seen it - girls, guys, everyone wanted to watch that movie. I was amazed so many guys liked the movie. I even met Cary Elwes last September, AWESOME guy. I got a picture with him, multiple hugs, and he autographed a copy of The Princess Bride (book) for me.
How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days
I think it's because Kate Hudson's character is a journalist, but I was instantly drawn to this movie. I know she absolutely goes off the deep end, and I know it's beyond ridiculous, but I can't help but watch it every time it's on. It might have something to do with Matthew McConaughey's abs.
This is probably far-and-away, my favorite romantic comedy. I saw it for the first time back when I was like, 11, because my aunt watched it A LOT while her husband was out on sea deployment. It didn't make all that much sense to me then, but I always found the story good, even if the nuances made very little sense at the time. As I got older, it got better and better.
My mom told me she hated this movie, and actually walked out of it. Despite her scathing review, it had Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman, and I would not be deterred. I loved it. Instant classic, and whereas I would say I "force" my husband to watch it every Christmas... he knows it's not Christmas until I've seen the movie, and he often will kick off Christmas movie season with this movie just to make me happy. There are so many great lines in it, and, I have to say that every time I watch it, I beg Laura Linney not to answer the phone. I know she's going to, but I beg her not to anyway.
10 Things I Hate About You
Heath Ledger. Need I say more? God, he was wonderful, and I found myself so jealous of Kat.
A Knight's Tale
Another Heath Ledger movie. The movie itself bastardizes history, but it's just amazing, and the cast is phenomenal. Paul Bettany's Chaucer is awesome. I love the final way William wins over the prince, Jocelyn, and everyone else. (Side note, I'm often asked if this movie is where I got my daughter's name. It's not. My daughter was named after someone I know, however, I don't find it a bad thing that this movie features Heath Ledger saying her name a lot. In fact, she often asks to watch the movie "with me in it.")
Runner's Up... I would be remiss to not mention these... Two Week's Notice, Bridget Jones' Diary (the book is way better), The Wedding Singer, Clueless.
Shakespeare in Love
I love this movie for so many reasons, not least of all because it makes me ugly cry. Even though it doesn’t have a HEA ending, the love story is amazing and it evokes real emotion in me.
Again, not a typical HEA ending but I feel like the conflict, the emotion and the depth of affection portrayed in this movie is incredible.
The less-than-glamourous girl who doesn’t fit in not only gets to be beautiful she gets the guy. No one puts Baby in the corner. Nuff said.
While I really like this movie it’s probably not actually on my Top Five list but I felt like this blog post would be incomplete without including something kinky.
I resisted watching this for the freaking longest time. “Another romantic Christmas movie. No thank you.” but then when I finally sat down and watched it, I fell in love. I think Eileen described it best so I’m not going to try ;)
So there you have it. These are our Top Romantic Movies. What do you think? How does your list compare? What movies deserve a spot that we missed? Let us know in the comments.